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Background and a Short Outline to Ezra

English Old Testament Bible

Ezra Outline and Contents

Ezra: Rebuilding the Temple

Paul J. Bucknell


Ezra: Introduction | Short outline || Extended outline | Study notes/questions | Revival Ezra9:8-10

Only the Great LORD is able to make the lost saved, the corrupted purified and the forsaken precious. God steps into ancient world events to restore His temple worship. If the first testimony of rebuilding the great temple is insufficient proof of God's power, then the second testimony of changing his people's hearts becomes the sure confirmation of God's glorious work.

Ezra rebuilt the temple called the Second Temple or Herod Temple because largely rebuilt in 19 BC

The Second Temple is also known as the Herod Temple because in 19 BC largely rebuilt it. The original second temple was still a large undertaking and constructed by the returning exiles during Ezra's time under Zerubbabel's leadership. Cyrus largely furnished the temple and provided the large amount of money needed for this big project. (Click picture for larger view).

The Book of Ezra starts where of 2 Chronicles finishes by completing the unfinished story of the exile. Seventy years had passed, and God fulfilled His promise by bringing the exiles back to the land.

The book of Ezra is confusing because it starts long before Ezra the scribe comes on the scene. Ezra doesn't appear until chapter 7. About 57 years pass between chapters 6 and 7.

Jeremiah 25.11 Whole land shall be a desolation and ... seventy years

Ezra's Time Chart - Post exile

We should note that the later period never officially could be called a kingdom but only a 'people.' There were at least three waves of return exiles. Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah all led groups back. Ezra and Nehemiah worked together for a period. Book of Ezra focuses on rebuilding of temple and then followed Nehemiah with the rebuilding of Jerusalem's wall.